1. Personal carbon trading has been the subject of
academic study for over a decade, but it is yet to be seen as
a truly viable policy. Its potential is undeniable, but this enticingly
simple idea has grown into a tangle of different proposals and
has come up against genuine obstacles. However, where incentives
to useful behavioural change by individuals remain disappointingly
elusive, personal carbon trading has great potential as a policy
2. In July 2006 David Miliband, appearing before
our Committee as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs, called for a 'thought experiment' on the idea,
where the challenges could be explored and the concept tested
against other proposals.
Defra developed a plan to research possible schemes in further
detail, and personal carbon trading found a place on the political
agenda. We hope that this Report contributes not only to the 'thought
experiment' but also advances the prospect of personal carbon
trading becoming a genuine policy option.
3. Thinking on personal carbon trading is still evolving;
there is a need for further research and our conclusions reflect
this. We have not attempted to address all of the practicalities
of making a personal carbon trading scheme work; rather, we have
focused on assessing the value of the concept, and how it can
be made both politically and publicly acceptable.
are grateful to all those who submitted evidence to the inquiry
or appeared before
us; their names are published at the end of this Report.
1 Oral evidence taken before the Environmental Audit
Committee on 19 July 2006, HC (2005-06) 1452, Q 293 Back